By Oke Peter
The technology group Wärtsilä will supply an 18 MW extension to the power generating facility and upgrade the electrical and automation system of the existing power plant at the Sabodala-Massawa gold mine complex in Senegal, West Africa. The mine is owned by Endeavour Mining, a leading global gold producer. The upgrading and extension project will allow for the complete integration of all the site’s power generating capacity, while ensuring the availability of the needed electric power to maintain and expand the mine’s production schedules.
The order with Wärtsilä was placed by Sabodala Gold Operations and it has been booked in Wärtsilä’s order intake in Q3 2022. The project will be delivered under a complete engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.
The Sabodala-Massawa mine is the largest producing gold mine in Senegal and is located in the eastern part of the country in the Kedougou region. Endeavour’s planned mine expansion will transform Sabodala-Massawa into a top-tier gold asset with incremental production.
“Wärtsilä has a depth of experience in delivering power solutions for mining operations around the world. Not being connected to the grid means that the captive plant has to be capable of providing a reliable supply of electricity at all times, since no power equals no production. The Wärtsilä 32 engines selected for this expansion project have established a strong reputation for high efficiency and reliability under even the most difficult ambient conditions, eliminating revenue losses from power shortages,” said Marc Thiriet, Energy Business Director, Africa West, Wärtsilä.
The three Wärtsilä 32 engines to be installed are 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the plant’s existing engines. Their fuel efficiency minimises the environmental impact by reducing harmful CO2 emissions. In addition to their outstanding performance, they have the flexibility to support a smooth transition to the integration of solar power and energy storage into the system. The upgrade of the electrical and automation system will optimise the interconnection and control for the existing power plant with the extension.
The project is expected to be completed and commissioned before the end of 2023.
Wärtsilä is Senegal’s leading provider of power generating equipment, and already has 543 MW of installed capacity in altogether 20 power plants in the country. 458 MW of this capacity is under Wärtsilä long-term service agreements.